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Thread: Replaying FFXIII

  1. #1
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Braaaaaains Replaying FFXIII

    Pray for me.

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    Newbie Administrator Loony BoB's Avatar
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    I hope you like it better the second time around xD I still have fond memories of this game.
    Bow before the mighty Javoo!

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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    I don't think that's going to happen for me.

    I'm on Chapter 2 and already bored and wondering why the game is even bothering with tutorials at this point because there is nothing gameplaywise to discuss.

    Not only that, but I also forgot how grating the NORA/Snow "hero" spiel can be. Furthermore, I'm rolling my eyes as hard as I did listening to Zack and Angeal talk about a "SOLDIER'S Pride" from CC. The whole thing has been really awkward so far. I also forgot how cringy Hope and Vanille are in general. Their scenes together feels like two kids on the spectrum trying to help each other learn how to emote. Like seriously, I feel Hope's portrayal in the cutscenes, don't quite match up to what the Datalogs says is going on. Lightning and Sahz are the least grating so far, even if poor Sahz has been written as an Eddie Murphy character. I keep half expecting Lightning to say, "Donkey, can't you just shut up?"

    The most impressive thing about XIII so far is, unsurprisingly, the graphics. The game honestly looks a bit better than XV, I dare say. I also forgot how cinematic the UI was with the status screens. I only wish I liked Hamazu's style enough to enjoy the music more. Likewise, I am also grateful I chose to turn on the subtitles, because there is a lot of dialogue that gets missed because it plays over some explosion or other dialogue. I forgot that Vanille sometimes gives you her thoughts like she's retelling the plot to you.

    So far, the two biggest issues for me has been how boring combat is, and how over bloated the first two chapters have been. So far, Chapter 2 has just felt unnecessary. Like it's just three groups wandering around the Vestige regurgitating what they already were talking about in Chapter 1, and nothing interesting is really happening. As for combat, I just don't really understand why we couldn't have introduced more of the equipment aspect already? Like let us upgrade weapons a bit, or introduce the fact that combining certain accessories together confer up extra bonuses. The fight before the PSICOM Armored captain Lightning and Sahz fight would have been a perfect time to introduce how equipping two Iron Bangles gives you a 3x multiplier for health that Lightning might need, since this boss hits hard. Or Lightning explaining to Sahz how he's going to need to upgrade his guns if he wants to keep tagging along.

    I am also disappointed that we never got to really play with the MagDrive gravity controller. That has so many possibilities to enhance gameplay, and it could have been an introduction to the Tech Bar.

    So yeah, XIII is already turning into a rough experience for me. But was anyone really surprised?

  4. #4
    Newbie Administrator Loony BoB's Avatar
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    Once I accepted the "Hero" thing as a dumb jock stereotype/parody thing, Snow quickly became endearing to me.

    I really like Vanille, but I couldn't stand Hope and actually hoped (heh) he would turn when he almost did near the end of the game, so we'd have to fight him, and it would hit home that the characters are fallable. But it never happened so oh well.

    I still say FFXIII is for me the most interesting of the combats I've played in the mainline FF series because it's the only one that was capped so that I couldn't simply level up a bit more and steamroll everything. Most games in the FF series I have managed to win by just holding X to win, while in FFXIII you have to paradigm shift and then hold X to win. I think I would find the other games a lot more interesting if they also did level capping per area. I'm guessing you push ahead faster than I do because otherwise you'd probably see the enemies in other games as just cannon fodder too.
    Bow before the mighty Javoo!

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    The only thing I remember about this game is Vanille and her sister.

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    Radical Dreamer Fynn's Avatar
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    XIIIís start is one of the most baffling moments Iíve seen in a video game, yeah. So many tutorials for a nothing battle system and then you also donít get experience. Bulltrout.

    As Iíve said in my marathon, Iím a bit less hard on the game after the second run, but itís still a bottom tier FF for me. I think Iíd honestly like it more if they just didnít use the brain dead combat system that they did. Itís one of the many reasons I actually genuinely enjoy Lightning Returns

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    Newbie Administrator Loony BoB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fynn View Post
    brain dead combat system that they did.
    It will never stop blowing my mind that people think FFXIII is braindead when all the other FFs I've played are literally hold X to win. I used to not even watch the screen while leveling up.

    EDIT: Actually that's probably not fair to FFXII and FFXV and the MMOs, where you have to position too. But all FF's I-X were all hold x to win for me.
    Bow before the mighty Javoo!

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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loony BoB View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fynn View Post
    brain-dead combat system that they did.
    It will never stop blowing my mind that people think FFXIII is brain-dead, when all the other FFs I've played are literally hold X to win. I used to not even watch the screen while leveling up.

    EDIT: Actually that's probably not fair to FFXII and FFXV and the MMOs, where you have to position too. But all FF's I-X were all hold x to win for me.
    That really comes down to what you do in battle with earlier entries. I like to use skills a lot, and that's something XIII is kind of lacking in terms of skills that don't just do the same thing. I like having Steal, Manipulate, and other quirky abilities to play with.

    Honestly, I finished Chapter 3, and even with the Crystarium\/Paradigm System unlocked, the game is still fairly lackluster for my taste in terms of combat. I'm waiting the equipment mechanic to unlock because that's the feature I'm going to focus on more this time around. It's not helped by how limited it at first, especially since the game won't let you control who is in your party despite having a surplus.

    I do find it interesting how much Fang and Dysley were foreshadowed before they appear. Furthermore, I still feel that Cocoon society doesn't really make sense to me, nor does the fal'Cie's plan.

    Sahz has definitely been the highlight of these early chapters, being the only real voice of reason among a party of kids hooked on feelings. Lightning and Snow only bother me due to their utter lack of self-awareness. Like these two can't seem to notice they are the creators of all their drama. Hope is obnoxious, but I find people who feel the need to hoist blame onto others as a default defense mechanism for trauma to be incredibly annoying. Vanille, just doesn't make sense to me. Like, I don't understand why she dragged Hope with her to the Vestige. I don't understand why she's sticking with the party. I don't understand why she isn't making more of an effort to look for Fang. She's just weird, and feels like Rikku without any of her redeeming qualities.

    We'll see what Chapter 4 has to bring.

  9. #9
    Radical Dreamer Fynn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loony BoB View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fynn View Post
    brain dead combat system that they did.
    It will never stop blowing my mind that people think FFXIII is braindead when all the other FFs I've played are literally hold X to win. I used to not even watch the screen while leveling up.

    EDIT: Actually that's probably not fair to FFXII and FFXV and the MMOs, where you have to position too. But all FF's I-X were all hold x to win for me.
    I don’t think it’s braindead. It is braindead to me. And mg experience is very fresh in my mind, so there’s very little room for ambiguity here

  10. #10
    Newbie Administrator Loony BoB's Avatar
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    I will concede on the steal part, WK, as I always miss that in games it's not included in. Although it's not the end of the world for me, I guess, because the game gives you enough in the rewards to make it even out anyway. But generally speaking, pretty much all the other games I still held X to win unless I was farming items.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fynn View Post
    I don’t think it’s braindead. It is braindead to me. And mg experience is very fresh in my mind, so there’s very little room for ambiguity here
    But is it any more braindead than the FFI-X? I am serious when I say I held X to win for 95-99% of my battles in those games. FFXIII level capping me made things so much more interesting, it meant I had to pay attention to paradigm shifts in a decent number of the battles, and almost every single boss.

    I agree Sahz was a major plus point to the earlier parts of the game. I do like a voice of reason, as you put it - the 'straight man' I think is the trope name?

    I honestly forgot about Dysley. He was such a meh villain for me.

    As for Vanille, I figure it's like a lost puppy kind of thing, they latch onto someone they feel will keep them safe when they lose their initial parent/owner/guardian/leader.
    Bow before the mighty Javoo!

  11. #11
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    I've been avoiding some of the more nitpicky stuff I would like to bitch about, but at the rate the game is going, I may have to unload eventually. Almost done with Chapter 4.

  12. #12
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    WK's list of minor annoyances about FFXIII
    • The game feeling the need to notify you in the menu that you obtained another item, even if you already have twenty of them.
    • The fact, the Datalog has this tendency to regurgitate the same information over and over again. The chapter summary for Chapter 1-3 all feel the need to explain what the Purge is, despite their already being an entry there.
    • The menu for the Crystalium is very tedious for no reason. Like, you can switch between character with the shoulder buttons, but the game still wants you to click on them before letting you choose which Role to upgrade.
    • Is it me, or are the step sound effect unnecessarily loud?
    • After Chapter 1 and 2 feel super short, Chapter 3 and 4 feel unnecessarily long.
    • Why is the strategy guide for this game as big as the one for FFXII? Like the amount of gameplay content in XII dwarfs XIII's, and you can tell by how pointless a lot of the guide is. The author must have been paid by the page.


    At this point, the gang has split up into Team Serious Business, and Team Silly Business. Everyone has at least three roles for Paradigm play, and I've unlocked the ability to upgrade gear.

    The gameplay of this title is just baffling to me. It's like the design team looked at Xenosaga Episode II, Persona 3&4, and Suikoden IV's quirky gameplay ideas and decided to merge them all together without their redeeming traits.

    First off, I hate grading systems in games, because more often than not, the only thing that matters is speed, and that just doesn't really promote tactical know-how. It just tells you to blitzkrieg your way through every situation. If a party member gets K.O. because all the enemies dog pile them in the first round and I still manage to finish the fight under a minute, I shouldn't really get a 5-star rating for that. If the point of this system is to promote better involvement with battles, I should be ranked on more factors than just speed. Especially since this limits any real defensive game. Like I get punished by the ranking system for using a Sentinel or Synergist role because they shave off precious second I could be using to murder enemies, and that just doesn't feel right to me.

    Killing the team leader = Game over also doesn't make any sense. At least with SMT/Persona, there is an in-game reason for why this mechanic is a thing (SMT= Your demon allies are more mercenary than actual friends. Persona = Your MC is intricately attached to the final villain in a way where their death just skips you to the bad ending) but there is no real reasoning for it in XIII other than to create some fake difficulty. Hell, at least in SMT/Persona, you have more control over your MC's development and load out so that you can limit MegaTen deaths to freak accidents. I'll admit I've died like three times so far, but they feel empty because I never felt like I died because I messed up, all three times have just been due to the enemies dog piling on my leader at the same time. There really wasn't much I could do in those situations, so the death feels more outside my control than usual. Secondly, I just respawn right outside the battle anyway, so it hardly feels like a real setback. The challenge of this game just feels hollow to me.

    Finally, the game has an awkward equipment system. Leveling gear feels tedious and unnecessarily convoluted for its own good. I'm already getting flashbacks to the horror of farming items to sell, so I can buy XP bonus items that are too tedious to farm on their own, so I can get the 3x XP bonus that allows me to use all the good XP items I've been hoarding around for chapters to finally stop wasting space in my inventory. Likewise, the Synthesis System is just baffling to me because in addition to the game never explaining it to the player in any clear terms, the bonuses they offer have no middle ground of usefulness. They are either garbage skills you'll never use (reduce damage by 5hp), or some endgame sorcery needed to get that Platinum Trophy (Occasionally ignore all Physical or Magical damage). It's a shame too, because much like Suikoden IV's funky armor set mechanics, this is probably one of the more interesting gameplay mechanics XIII tries to offer but fails to make it robust enough to warrant being used.

    It's just been weird for me.

  13. #13
    Newbie Administrator Loony BoB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf Kanno View Post
    WK's list of minor annoyances about FFXIII
    • The game feeling the need to notify you in the menu that you obtained another item, even if you already have twenty of them.
    • Is it me, or are the step sound effect unnecessarily loud?
    • After Chapter 1 and 2 feel super short, Chapter 3 and 4 feel unnecessarily long.
    • Why is the strategy guide for this game as big as the one for FFXII? Like the amount of gameplay content in XII dwarfs XIII's, and you can tell by how pointless a lot of the guide is. The author must have been paid by the page.

    Killing the team leader = Game over also doesn't make any sense.
    Finally, the game has an awkward equipment system.
    Yes, the menu alert thing always annoyed me when it includes stuff that is just constantly changing instead of restricting itself to stuff I actually care about. Hated clearing the items. Games that do this, along with games that notify you every time there is a minor update to a bestiary like "oh we know another weakness now" annoy me a lot.

    Yeah, I feel like a footstep volume control would have helped me enjoy the music a lot.

    The chapters are definitely varying in length, but I didn't care too much because chapter change times mean nothing anyway.

    The strategy guide if I recall correctly was mostly about how to 5 star enemies and how to find items or something like that. Also compared each character in different roles showcasing which did better in what and why, which got which magic, etc. I do have it but can't be arsed checking. It was a nice guide, though. Didn't have the FFXII one so can't comment there.

    I haaaaaaaaated and never understood that killing lead = game over.

    And yeah, the equipment system reminded me a very large amount of FFVIII's equipment system and I didn't like that either.
    Bow before the mighty Javoo!

  14. #14
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    The other thing I forgot to mention concerning the combat is something BoB mentioned, which is how he liked the fact the game makes you pay attention, but I disagree that this is a good thing.

    The issue I have is that normal battles just aren't engaging. Most of the time I'm just paying attention to the Stagger counter while occasionally glancing at the party health to see if I need to switch to a medic. So much is going on the screen, half the time it's hard to follow. XV has a similar issue where combat almost felt like you were watching one of those old cartoon fights where everything disappears into a giant dust cloud as fists and lightning zap out of it. So nothing is really happening during combat, but you have to pay attention in case the enemies decide to gang up on the party leader. So combat gets a bit more tedious and boring for me because it's not engaging enough to hold my interest, but I'm forced to pay attention anyway. Random Encounters feel like school work to me, and it is draining.

    Boss fights can alleviate this, but there are surprisingly few in the game so far.

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    Why are we calling him Sahz?

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